One popular Richland coffee shop is opening a second location, while another is preparing to close its doors.
Richland’s Barracuda Coffee, named for the Plymouth Barracuda founder Bill Pogue sold to buy his first espresso machine, will open its second location at 320 N. Kellogg St. in Kennewick by late October.
At the same time, Richland’s Bethel Church announced that it will close its nonprofit Sharehouse Coffee on Oct. 30, citing financial issues.
Barracuda has been owned since February 2009 by Michelle and Jake Shupe, former youth ministers who bought the business from Pogue after concluding the demands of ministry were interfering with time with their four children.
Jake Shupe had worked for Barracuda when it first opened nearly 14 years ago and returned some years later as a part-timer to augment his church salary.
In October 2008, after much prayer, he and Michelle began talking with Pogue about buying it. The deal came together the following February.
It was a tricky transaction. In the depths of the Great Recession, banks wouldn’t finance the purchase, even though the Shupes had an investor willing to underwrite a 30 percent down payment.
Barracuda sources its coffee beans from around the world and has them custom-roasted locally.
The unnamed investor rose to the challenge, providing a certificate of deposit for the entire purchase price as collateral for the loan.
“It was a really tough time,” Shupe recalled.
Barracuda thrived on Van Giesen Street during the economic downturn. Shupe said sales grew every year, until September 2013, when contract jitters at Hanford caused its customers to give up coffee, at least for a while.
“We went from August of 2013 being the record to September being one of the worst,” Shupe said. “It took us a year to recover from that.”
Barracuda suffered a second setback when the Shupes decided to close Sundays, so families could attend church. The disruption sent regular customers to other businesses the rest of the week. They restored Sunday hours six months later.
Shupe calls the coffee business a logical extension of the 15 years he and Michelle spent in ministry — both locations offer indoor seating to give the Barracuda crew a chance to get to know its customers.
“It’s so relational,” he said.
Barracuda sources its coffee beans from around the world and has them custom-roasted locally. Both locations sell fresh pastries from Richland-based Ethos Bakery.
Bethel Church opened Sharehouse in February 2012 anticipating that it would become self-sustaining while operating as a nonprofit dedicated to its mission and to fostering community. In a letter to friends dated Sept. 21, it said that has not happened, and the coffee shop at 2150 Keene Road will close at the end of its four-year lease.
In construction-related news, work is proceeding on a new McDonald’s building at 2202 W. Court St. in Pasco. The permit is for a $905,200 new building.